I found a great Facebook group for the holidays this year, where members are participating in a "Christmas Secret Stitchy Santa" trade of a small cross stitch or needlepoint gift item. I love the enthusiasm of the members, and the casual attitude of the coordinator. There aren't a lot of rules that make it complicated to participate. It's simply about making new online friends with someone who shares your hobby. Though I won't actually meet my exchange partner, this trade is making these online friends feel more "real." I love that my online life is crossing a fuzzy border into reality.
Actually, the reason I was able to participate was that I already had a small gift prepared. So there's no time crunch, procrastinating-then-stressing in my future. And the anticipation of something fun coming in the mail just for me is so exciting! My gift is traveling all the way to England. I'll be sure to post a picture when it arrives (*wink*).
If you'd like to join in, it may be a little late for this year, as we've already been matched up with partners. But you can always start your own exchange for this or any other craft. And you can join our group to see the results as we post photos of our mail!
(non-spoiler alert: illustration is Not the actual item I'm sending off)